Southend United’s pre-season tour started with a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid’s C team today in blistering conditions.The Blues had stunned their hosts as early as the fourth minute when Neil Harris put Southend 1-0 up.
But an equaliser just before half-time from Real’s Ramirez and second half goals from Mariano and Burgui handed the win to the talented Blancos.
Played in the impressive surroundings of Real Madrid’s training complex, United opened their tour account when Gavin Tomlin’s cross picked out Harris 10-yards from goal, with the forward powering a header past Ruben in the Madrid goal.
Real Madrid responded minutes later when Dani Suarez headed narrowly over trialist keeper Phil Smith’s goal before Harris had the ball in the back of the net once more on 15 minutes but the referees whistle had already gone.
Madrid then hit the side netting from a tight angle before Harris called Ruben into action once more with a shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Defender Ryan Cresswell had to be equal at the other end to block an effort on the line from Aguza just before the half hour mark before five minutes later he missed a good chance to double Southend’s advantage when he headed Ryan Leonard’s free-kick wide of the target.
Bruno then flashed an effort wide of the goal for Real Madrid before the home side eventually pulled one back through a Ramirez free-kick.
Mark Phillips was adjudged to have given away a free-kick on the edge of the area and the Madrid forward curled his left-footed shot into the bottom corner of Smith’s goal to make it 1-1.
After the break Madrid made a series of changes but it was Southend who had the first opprtunity to go ahead when Kevin Hurst’s corner caught Cresswell by surprise and his header went over.
The tide finally turned in Madrid’s favour though when ex-Swindon Town keeper Smith brought down substitute Mariano in the penalty area and the forward slotted home the resulting penalty kick on 53 minutes.
Manager Paul Sturrock then made seven changes as the Real Madrid first team, Cristiano Ronaldo et al, arrived at the training complex.
But despite the changes Madrid soon added a third goal when Burgui evaded a challenge from Luke Prosser to slot past Smith and make it 3-1.
Southend did respond however and replacement keeper Jacob had to claw back Freddy Eastwood’s attempted lob shot off the line on 83 minutes before his knock down to Hall saw the winger volley inches wide in the dying moments of an enjoyable match.
Southend: Smith, Clohessy (Eastwood 68), Cresswell (Coughlan 68), Phillips (Barker 68), Straker (Prosser 68), Brogan (Hall 68), Hurst (Martin 68), Ferdinand, Leonard, Harris, Tomlin (Benyon 68).
Subs not used: Bentley.